Charges dismissed against man in fight with officer

Published 9:24 am Thursday, December 15, 2016

The charges against a Mocksville man after an altercation with police officers downtown in March were dismissed recently in court as part of a settlement agreement.

Casey Dale James, 42, of Yadkinville Road, was charged with assault on a government official/employee, resisting a public officer, and being intoxicated and disruptive.

According to arrest records, Mocksville Police Officer Shaun M. Greene noticed people gathered downtown around 2 a.m. and went to investigate. During the course of speaking to James, a fight ensued, and James suffered head injuries, while Greene ended up with a broken wrist.

Greene said James was intoxicated.

District Attorney Garry Frank said last week: “After reviewing the evidence, we decided not to pursue criminal charges.”

He said he watched video footage obtained from a nearby building, and: “Depending on the perspective of the viewer, it is a close call on the nature of the altercation.” He would not say whether the aggressor seemed to be James or Greene.

Town attorney Hank Van Hoy said the settlement agreement, reached between James, his attorney Brandy Koontz, the DA’s office, and the town was the result of negotiations to achieve a “fair resolution. It was a result I thought was fair, that the DA thought was fair, the police chief and Brandy and Casey, the mayor and the majority of the board thought was fair.”

Van Hoy said he was the one who took to the town board what he thought was the proper action, in an effort to protect the town and police officers. “This was an unfortunate incident that deserved to be resolved without litigation,” Van Hoy said.

Amy Vaughn-Jones was the only Mocksville board member who voted against the settlement.

The agreement, made between James, his wife, Julie and the town of Mocksville, has the town paying James $2,000 for attorney fees, $425 in lost wages to Julie, and $100 for James’ medical co-pay.

An additional term of the settlement is a meeting between James and Mocksville Police Chief Todd Penley to discuss the circumstances that led to the charges and what steps might be taken to “reduce the risks inherent in situations where alcohol is involved.”

Van Hoy said Penley has adopted practices to provide training on best police practices, which is also included in the settlement.

In return, James releases the town from any possible claims, damages or actions that resulted from the incident.